"A Mesmerian Experiment" was originally titled "Le Baquet de Mesmer" in French and it's another short from Georges Méliès. However, despite the title, it really has nothing to do with hypnosis (i.e., 'mesmerism'--named after the early hypnotist, Anton Mesmer).
Like so many of Méliès' films, this one finds him playing the role of a magician--a common thing since in real life he was a stage magician. Here he's heavily disguised with fake hair and a HUGE beard and a period costume. He makes a group of women appear and they dance about. Nothing is particularly noteworthy about their dancing. Then, he makes another lady appear and she does some amazing acrobatic dancing--all while wearing an outfit that sure makes this look impossible! No, this wasn't magic--she was just very, very limber!
In the end, he does what any man would do in this situation--he turns them into ducks! All in all, an average to below average magical film for Méliès. I've seen at least 15 to 20 of his magical films (probably more) and he has done better. Still, this is quite good by the standards of 1905 and it is worth seeing.
-- 20 September 2011 | by planktonrules (Bradenton, Florida)